6 WEEKS LATER
The two of us had pretty much settled into a routine by this point, Everything seemed to be going smoothly. As a result, the laws against rogues have been removed completely. Though the hotel had a plumbing hiccup, and still wasn’t open.
Valen was currently going to deal with that while I was at my dress fitting. He was meeting me afterward so we could go grocery shopping. We had finally moved into the packhouse, and the extra room was welcomed.
Dad and Ava were currently living with us to help with the girls, but today Dad and Kalen were stuck helping Valen today. They were also now head of the council, which was also taking up most of the time during the day.
Clarke pleaded guilty to his charges along with the others, and they were now rotting away in prison cells. Yet we still had no idea where Nixon was, and despite watching his wife, she never left the house, or if she did, she never left her old pack territory.
“Valarian, can you pass Evelyn her dummy?” I ask him while the lady finishes pinning my dress. Zoe and Macey were supposed to come to the fitting with me and helped me pick out my dress with Ava, but all of them were busy today.
The three of them chose violet bridesmaid dresses, and I chose a beige dress, yet I was still dropping weight, and now my b**bs had gone back to normal.
The dress needed taking in even more. I had one more fitting after this one to retake my measurements. It had been a mission to haul all the kids into the car by myself, so I brought Valarian along instead of sending him to school. The dressing fitting took forever, and I was excited about going home.
I was exhausted, and the girls were sick of sitting in the stroller, which barely fit in the back of my car. Slipping the dress off, I quickly got changed and decided to ring Valen to find out how far away he was.
I kind of hoped he would volunteer to do the grocery shopping himself.
Though I know, he wanted me to come with him so that I could go to the reserve and finally shift on the way home. I still hadn’t.
Time was always against me, or I was far too tired, knowing how it usually exhausted me I wasn’t all that temped to shift.
Valen answered the phone on the second ring and I could tell he was in the car by the echo.” Where are you?” I ask, coming back out of the dressing room.
I thank the ladies that work here and kick off the breaks to the stroller. “About fifteen minutes away,” Valen tells me.
“Okay, I will start getting the kids in the car,” I tell him, pushing the pram out the door as Valarian holds it open for me.
“Yep, I will follow you home. Dad is meeting us there. He said he would watch the kids for us while we go grocery shopping and for a run,” he tells me and I sigh but say nothing, knowing we hardly spent any alone time together, and I know he was craving that.
I could tolerate being exhausted if it made him happy. “Okay, see you in a few minutes,” I tell him, stepping into the hot sun and squinting at the brightness. “
That you will; I love you,” “Love you too,” I tell him before hanging up. It was scorching hot today, the sun high in the sky. Valarian and I made our way across the parking lot.
I hit the fob unlocking the doors as we approach, and Valarian climbs into the back and sits on the center console so he can help do up the seatbelts.
He was my little helper and loved being able to help in any way he could. He adored his sisters, and we worried he would be upset about not having a brother, but he seemed to all but forgotten now.
I place Claire in the middle seat, and Valarian starts doing up her belt while I get the next one out. We clip all three of them in, and I ask Valarian to play with them while I pull the stroller down.
His car seat was in the front, which wasn’t ideal, but Valen was getting a van next week for me.
We were just waiting for it to arrive.
Trying to fold the stroller, movement near the bakery down from the bridal store catches my eye and I see Amber walking out looking terrible. It was the first time I had seen her.
She glances at me before dropping her head and rushing toward her car. I sigh, going back to my task. Folding the stroller into my car, I pop the trunk and jam all the crap in it.
A bigger car is what I needed. I push all my weight on the trunk to close it, and I can see Valarian shaking the rattle for the girls excitedly. I smiled, watching him for a second. He waves to me, and I wave back when a strange expression crosses his face.
My brows furrow when he screams. “Mum behind you!” he screamed the most blood-curdling scream. It sent my blood cold when I felt someone grab my hair, and I heard the sound of my head smashing into the trunk before everything went black.
The sun shining behind my eyelids confused me as my head pounded. I sat up, wondering why I was on the ground.
My keys that were clutched in my hands were now gone. “Unlock the door, you little shit!” I hear a woman snarls. I blink when I hear my kids screaming.
Gr0aning, I sit up. “Stop that!” she yells as I hear my car doors unlocking and locking.
Sitting up, I pull myself up, clutching the trunk, and my eyes widen when I see Nixon’s wife hit the fob.
The doors unlock, and she rips the door open before Valarian can push the lock back down. The girls screamed, and Valarian screamed for me, petrified. My heart raced when I saw her go to get in the driver’s seat.
Yet all I could think was she was trying to take my babies. I run at her, tackling her, and we both smash into the open driver’s side door. When I hear a snarl somewhere behind me.
She drops the keys, and we both scramble to get them just as I hear Valarian slam the door shut. We wrestled for the keys while I screamed for help; when fingers gripped my hair, yanking my head back, I tossed my elbow back, connecting with someone behind me before diving back onto Nixon’s wife as her outstretched hand reached for the keys.
I land on top of her snatching the keys before she could and hitting the lock button just as I am hauled off. “Get the bloody keys, you useless woman,” I heard Nixon’s voice growl as I am ripped off his wife.
My blood runs cold, and I only do what I can think of first. I toss the keys toward the store’s roof as hard as I can.
The keys land on the roof. Valarian was screaming his head off inside the car. While I kicked at Nixon’s wife as she tried to get close to me. “Just take her. Hurry!” she screams at Nixon.
I twist in his grip, my hair ripping out painfully before punching him in the balls from my bent position, and he lets go with a grunt, just as she punches me in the ribs.
I gasp for air, feeling my ribs break before she knees me in the head. I see black momentarily as I hit the ground, coming back to Valen’s voice screaming in my head and asking what’s happening when I see Nixon punch the window.
The snarl that left me was more of a roar as I shifted, my body smashing his against the car and denting the door before I was ripped off by claws sinking into my rump. I twist, swiping at Nixon’s wife, who had shifted into a murky brown wolf.
My claws slashed down her face as Nixon’s teeth sank into the back of my neck. “Valen!” I scream through the mind link as the woman in the store, hearing the commotion, races out only to pause as I squared off with the Alpha while trying to keep my eyes on his wife.
The car was off, and it was stinking hot, and I knew my car was heating up like a damn oven inside. Nixon lunges at me, and I ducked, sinking my teeth into his hind leg, when his wife grabs my tail, ripping me backward. The screeching of tires in the distance told me Valen was close.
I just needed to hold off a little longer. I could see the woman from the store on the phone to the police, and I would bloody slap her for standing there if I survived long enough.” Why are you just standing there!” I hear a voice snarl at the woman.
Nixon’s jaws grab my front leg, and he shakes his head, but that means he left his neck wide open, and I chomp down on the back of it.
My spine felt like it was breaking as his wife yanked on my tail, trying to get me off him, but I wasn’t letting go. They weren’t taking my babies.
They would have to kill me first. That when something unexpected happened, I thought she left and I realize it was her voice I heard yelling at the shop assistant.
One minute I am being ripped apart by them, the next Amber attacks Nixon. Her malt-colored wolf latching its jaws around his back leg and shaking viciously while I turn on his wife.